Did you leave your speeding ticket in the dust?
Courts won’t accept a lost traffic ticket as a valid excuse for late payment or for not appearing in court. But don’t lose hope in the search for your lost speeding ticket! Read on to learn how to recover the information you need to address your traffic citation.
Online Traffic Ticket Search
Some states provide an option for you to search for your lost speeding ticket online, depending on who issued your ticket: a highway patrolman or a local police officer.
If a highway patrolman gave you the citation, you might be able to find lost traffic ticket information on a state-run website.
If a local police officer or sheriff issued the speeding ticket, you might need to search on a website run by the county where your ticket was issued.
To find your traffic ticket, you might need the following information on hand:
- Your full name as it appears on your drivers license.
- Your date of birth.
- Your drivers license number.
- Your license plate number.
Check to see if your state offers online lost traffic ticket search options.
Check Your Traffic Ticket Courtesy Notice
After you receive a traffic ticket, many states will send you a courtesy notice to remind you of the important information regarding your citation. In this case, you don’t need to worry if you lose your traffic ticket. Just keep your eyes peeled for this note in your mailbox.
Remember: Failure to receive a courtesy notice does not serve as a valid excuse for not paying a fine.
Contact The County that Issued Your Traffic Ticket
Many states handle speeding tickets at the county level. Determine which county you received your citation in, then contact that county’s court.
Once issued, tickets become are a matter addressed through court, though under certain circumstances, a court official might direct you to the law enforcement agency that issued the ticket.
Determine How You Will Plead
Once you find your lost traffic citation information, how will you plead?
Most state offer three basic plea options:
- Not guilty
- No contest (nolo contendre)
The way you choose to plea will impact your next steps.
If you plead not guilty (and decide to fight your traffic ticket), you will likely need to go to court on the date specified by your citation. If you plead guilty or no contest you might be able to pay your fine without a visit to the courthouse.
Check with the state or county in which you received your citation to learn your next steps. Or learn more in our Traffic Ticket section.
Have you ever lost a traffic ticket? What did you do? Tell us in the comments section below.